The Minister of Environment and Water, Julian Popov, took part in the meeting of the EU Environment Council in Luxembourg, which is held under the presidency of Spain.
At today's meeting, ministers discussed the proposal for a Regulation on CO2 emission standards from heavy goods vehicles. Bulgaria supported the proposed general approach and positively assessed the work of the Presidency, the press center of the Ministry of Education and Culture reported.
Minister Popov supported the proposals for the expansion of the review clause regarding the need for analysis and reporting of infrastructure development in third countries. He noted that there is a need to take into account developments on a global scale, including in the US and China, regarding the electrification of transport and batteries, pointing out that without action the EU will fall behind in terms of innovation and technology. Minister Popov called for ambitious actions, adding that even now the electrification of transport is developing at a significant pace. As an example, he pointed to the city of Sofia, where at the moment 75% electrification of public transport has been achieved. In this context, the Minister also reminded of Bulgaria's proposals made in the past regarding the development of the concept of green corridors within the Union.
The afternoon session began with a discussion of the proposal for a Directive on urban waste water treatment. Bulgaria pointed out that the implementation of the directive will be a huge challenge for our country in terms of investments and capacity and stressed that the national circumstances and the different starting positions of the member states should be taken into account to the maximum extent. Progress has been noted, especially as regards the deadlines for the implementation of some provisions, and in particular the relevant derogations for Member States that joined the EU after 2006. However, the deadlines remain too ambitious and continue to be too much of a challenge in combination with the new very high requirements, which is why Bulgaria voted "abstain".
The Council meeting continues with a discussion of the Council's conclusions on preparations for COP28, which will be held in Dubai at the end of the year, as well as the updated Nationally Determined Contribution of the Union to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Updating the Nationally Determined Contribution and submitting it to the Convention Secretariat before COP28 will once again reinforce the leading role of the EU, as well as its commitment to taking real measures to achieve the necessary emission reductions in view of the Paris Agreement targets and the latest scientific reports. In this way, the EU will set an example and an incentive for other countries to submit ambitious and transparent nationally determined contributions in the framework of the first Global Progress Review.